Compare Cymbalta vs. Lamictal

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Cymbalta
(Duloxetine)

Lamictal
(Lamotrigine)

Improves mood and relieves certain kinds of pain. Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety, and may help with chronic pain. More likely than other antidepressants to cause problems if you drink or have high blood pressure.Prevents seizures and stabilizes mood. Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is most useful for treating severe seizure disorders, and for bipolar disorder with more depression symptoms than manic symptoms. Just be careful to increase your dose slowly to avoid skin rash.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.873479318734793Cymbalta
Reviews for Cymbalta (Duloxetine)
59%
of people say Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is worth it
49%
say it works well
24%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Lamictal (Lamotrigine)
67%
+8% vs. Cymbalta (Duloxetine)
58%
+9% vs. Cymbalta (Duloxetine)
19%
+5% vs. Cymbalta (Duloxetine)
Side effects
CymbaltaLamictal
  • Nausea 15%
  • Dry mouth 8%
  • Drowsiness 8%
  • Constipation 7%
  • Somnolencee 7%
  • Decreased appetite 7%
  • Fatigued 6%
  • Sleep difficulty 5%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Fatigue 4%
More Cymbalta side effects »
  • Double vision 41%
  • Dizziness 27%
  • Lack of muscle coordination 18%
  • Blurred vision 15%
  • Nausea 14%
  • Vomiting 14%
  • Headache 10%
  • Inflammation inside the nose 5%
  • Sleep difficulty 4%
  • Incoordination 4%
More Lamictal side effects »
How it works
CymbaltaLamictal
Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulates mood.Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is an antiepileptic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to calm nerve activity in the brain.
Type of medication
CymbaltaLamictal
Antidepressant
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)
Prescription only
AnticonvulsantPrescription only
Available as
CymbaltaLamictal
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Dissolving tablet
Used for (click to learn more)
CymbaltaLamictal
How well it works for depression
The free Iodine Start program helps people track how well they are improving, and find the right antidepressant faster.

After 4 weeks using Start and Cymbalta (Duloxetine), here’s how much better people feel.

The free Iodine Start program (personal reports and coaching) is currently only for antidepressants. For now, you can read our pharmacist info about this medication.Learn more about Lamictal (Lamotrigine)
Risk factors for serious side effects
CymbaltaLamictal
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Stopping Cymbalta (Duloxetine) suddenly
  • History of high blood pressure
  • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
    Detailed Cymbalta (Duloxetine) risks & warnings »
    • History of depression
    • People also taking Depakote
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Increasing the dose too quickly
          • Taking birth control pills
          • Stopping Lamictal (Lamotrigine) suddenly
          Detailed Lamictal (Lamotrigine) risks & warnings »
          Pregnancy category
          CymbaltaLamictal
          CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

          Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

          See the FDA package insert
          CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

          Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

          See the FDA package insert
          Alcohol
          No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
          Food
          • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
          • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
          Kidneys and liver
          • Not a good option if you're a heavy drinker, or if you have liver or kidney problems.
          No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
          Sex
          • Cymbalta (Duloxetine) can cause lower sex drive or difficulty having an orgasm. If the problem persists after the first 2 to 3 months, you can talk to your doctor about alternative antidepressants or performance-enhancing medications.
          No specific sex-related info.
          Sleep
          • Stopping Cymbalta (Duloxetine) suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, agitation, flu-like symptoms, trouble sleeping, and dizziness. Withdrawal symptoms usually occur within 3 days of stopping the medication, and go away within 1 to 2 weeks. Work with your doctor to gradually reduce your dose.
          No specific sleep-related info.
          Weight
          No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
          Upsides and benefits
          CymbaltaLamictal
          • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
          • Lowers relapse rates for depression.
          • Can relieve some types of chronic pain. Might be particularly good at pain relief for people who are also depressed.
          • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
          • Effective at lowering the frequency of seizures in people with epilepsy or Lennox-Gestaut syndrome. Typically used together with other medications for severe seizure disorders.
          • Works best for partial, tonic-clonic, and absence seizures.
          • A first-line treatment for bipolar disorder. Effective long-term treatment for stabilizing mood. Prevents both depressive and manic episodes, but the effect is greater for preventing depression.
          • Doesn't require routine blood tests.
          Downsides and risks
          CymbaltaLamictal
          • Not a good option if you're a heavy drinker, or if you have liver or kidney problems.
          • Not the best option for people with high blood pressure.
          • Like most antidepressants, can cause higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people age 24 and younger.
          • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work or it can cause side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medications until you find one that works for you.
          • Can cause double vision, dizziness, sleepiness, and headache.
          • Has the risk of a rare but life-threatening rash.
          • Can make hormonal birth control less effective.
          • Might be less effective than other medicines for treating manic episodes (acute mania) in people with bipolar disorder.
          Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
          CymbaltaLamictal
          • Full effects in 8 to 12 weeks for mood, 2 weeks for pain.
          • Stop taking slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
          • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
          • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
          • Follow dose adjustments set by your doctor to minimize skin rash.
          • Report rash, blurry vision, fever, persistent headache, or neck stiffness to your doctor.
          • Makes hormonal birth control less effective.
          • Takes 4 to 6 weeks to feel full effects on mood.
          • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
          Learn more
          More about CymbaltaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          More about LamictalSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert